2010 Annual Report

2010 Highlights

Goal 4: Quality Education


  • 303 Schools & Early-Learning Facilities Financed by LISC
  • $133.3 Million Invested in Education & Early-Learning Facilities
  • 67,500 Children & Students Enrolled in Schools & Early-Learning Facilities

Strong schools and quality early childhood education are not just critical for kids; they are central to the health of the communities where they live. Flourishing educational opportunities attract a diverse range of residents with a lasting commitment to their surrounding community. They contribute to family health and neighborhood safety as after-school programs, recreational programs, and school breakfast and lunch programs promote intellectual and physical well being. They offer young people the chance to lift themselves out of poverty and give families the confidence that their children can realize the American dream.

LISC invests in public charter schools and early child care centers, while also supporting a variety of learning and community programs that go beyond the traditional classroom. Struggling families and disadvantaged communities need access to quality educational programs if they are to recover. In Sustainable Communities, successful community development is directly connected to successful schools.

  • Houston, TX
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Providence, RI
KIPP Houston

For over a decade LISC has been financing school facilities to help meet the educational needs of low-income students, often by creating innovative financing mechanisms. In Houston, LISC partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and KIPP Houston to develop a pioneering program to improve charter school access to long-term, affordable financing from the tax-exempt bond market. The Foundation provided a $30 million guarantee that will be matched by participating charter schools and LISC to help secure $300 million in bond financing, which will help further the expansion of high-quality public charter schools in Houston.

The first financing through the Houston program was a $67 million tax-exempt bond issue for KIPP Houston that was secured by a $20 million guarantee through the program. Bond proceeds were used to finance 14 schools on seven KIPP campuses in Houston. As a result, KIPP Houston will be able to meet surging demand for its academic program and increase the number of students served from 4,500 to 11,500 students. In the long-term, this program will enable KIPP Houston to grow its network to 42 public schools serving 21,000 students over the next decade.

Green Works Internship Program

The Green Works Internship Program for urban youth is not your average coffee-and-photocopies summer internship. As part of Greater Kansas City LISCs NeighborhoodsNOW initiative, LISC provided the program with a grant to help fund the internships, which challenge students to understand environmental issues through their own hands-on experience while also giving them the opportunity to earn almost $1,000 over the course of the summer.

As part of an environmental science curriculum, young adults enrolled in the Green Works internship are assigned a mentor and get hands-on experience through service-learning projects; green collar, paid internships; and fields trips to visit with local environmental experts. These experiences help the teens develop career skills and become better prepared for life and the workforce.

The influence of the Green Works internship program speaks broadly to what Building Sustainable Communities can accomplish. Young people learn about environmental responsibility and take that message back to their homes and talk about it with their friends and family. They generate income and they become more invested in the health of their own community. Since 2005, LISC has supported 15 service-learning projects in rural and urban communities, serving 5,122 students.

Beautiful Beginnings

Beautiful Beginnings, a flagship program of the Jammat Community Development Corporation, provides quality child care and early learning opportunities for low- to moderate-income families in the Elmwood section of Providence, R.I. LISC has had a long-term partnership with the center, providing it with nearly $700,000 in grants and loans for facility design and renovations. These improvements helped Beautiful Beginnings achieve national accreditation and one of the top scores in the state’s child care quality rating system. It was also selected by the state to pilot its new Pre-K program and gained a contract to operate an Early Head Start program in its newly renovated infant/toddler classrooms.

Khadija Lewis-Khan, Beautiful Beginnings’ Executive Director, noted: “LISC was there from the very start and has continued to help guide me every step of the way.” In its early years of operation, Beautiful Beginnings used LISC financing and technical assistance to relocate from a strip mall storefront that lacked windows, outdoor play space, and accessible bathrooms to a permanent, newly-renovated center. In 2010, LISC provided grants to enable the program to renovate and expand additional space to serve more infants and toddlers. The center currently serves 130 children from birth through five years old.